Dennis Burtnett, who has maintained a home in Bradley County for the past four years, will replace Joe Newcomb. Newcomb announced his retirement recently.
Burtnett was born in Madison (Sumner County). He went to secondary schools in Sumner County, then obtained his bachelor of science degree from Southern Adventist College in Collegedale.
“I am very familiar with Bradley County,” he said during a Tuesday interview.
His wife, Cindy, is from Collegedale and the couple have two daughters. Brittney, 22, is working on her masters at Loma Linda College, in California. Courtney, 16, is a junior at Collegedale Academy.
Burtnett emphasized he is pleased with the BHRC staff, adding the county facility is one of the community’s major employers with about 300 on the staff.
“We want to be prepared to take care of the curve, which is wide in the nursing home industry,” he said. “I believe we have a quality staff to take care of this community.”
The new administrator anticipates the operation of the facility will continue much as it has in recent years with hopes of an even more efficient census. The current BHRC residential census is around 190, with a capacity of 213.
“I would like for us to get closer to 213,” he said.
Burtnett said he wants rehabilitation to be an emphasis at the county facility.
“We have some outstanding physical, occupational and speech therapists to get the job done,” he said. “We hope to improve in these areas and to keep it a viable facility.
“Nursing homes are one of our most heavily regulated industries, outside of nuclear power,” said the new administrator in talking about the future. “We’re a skilled facility, health care is in a state of flux, and we’re looking for different options for care. We’re constantly challenged.
“More and more care is being provided in the home,” he added. “But, you’re limited at how far you can take that.”
Burtnett apparently impressed BHRC’s board in recent interviews with his recommendations and 20 years of experience as a nursing home administrator.
After attending Southern Adventist, he obtained his nursing home administrator’s license in 1992.
He has since served as administrator at Highland Manor in Portland; Scott Villa Living Center in Scottsburgh, Ind.; back to Portland Manor; Westmoreland (Tennessee) Care and Rehab Center; Life Care Center of Copper Basin from 2008 until 2009; and Alexian Village Health and Rehab Center on Signal Mountain from 2010 until accepting the position at BHRC.
He was working in Cooper Basin when the Ocoee River rockslide re-routed traffic from Cleveland. He then had an hour’s commute to work on Signal Mountain.
Before getting his administrator’s license, he was director of patient accounts for various hospitals from 1982 until 1990.
Burtnett said he is excited about his new position with BHRC. “I have a passion for providing the very best in care to the elderly and critically ill in this community,” he said.